It’s like a kaleidoscope. Every time I think of it I get chills, my eyes sort of go out of focus and for a split second in time, I feel like maybe, just maybe, it might be happening. Perhaps if I closed my eyes a little tighter or imagined it just a little bit better, I’d be there.
As a student of history, I have to resign myself to the fact that I’ll probably always be a little bit more present in the past than the present. Probably the biggest issue that I have to deal with is the fact that I’m here and not there. But then again, if I were to choose to go back, I’d never be able to make the decision of just where I’d land. But, then again, I don’t know that that is exactly true. There are a million places I’d love to be. But whenever I find myself whirling into that kaleidoscope of images and emotions, it is always of the same place and time.
I suddenly find myself wearing a skirt, bobby socks, and red lipstick and going swing dancing. I see myself in what I personally call “The Era”. That span of time in history when lipstick was a must, big band music was the music, and where there was something about life that was infinitely more classy and chivalrous. The Era. If I had to say specific years, I suppose this “Era” I’ve made up with span about 30-40 years. Basically from the 1920’s to the 1950’s-60’s. I could see myself in finger waves doing the Charleston or being caught up in the war effort.
Why is it that when we look back on these times, they seem so much better? They weren’t perfect, no they weren’t. No time in history was ever perfect. Horrible things happen everyday, history is written because things weren’t perfect. But somehow when I look back on those times, I feel suddenly like I got a little cheated. They had awesome cars and, of course, my favorite person ever, dear Frank. We have skinny jeans and YOLO. I’m telling you, this isn’t cool at all. I find myself asking things like,”What am I doing here in this time? Why am I not there?” I suppose the answer to the question is that everything just works out the way that it is supposed to. I don’t know that the people living in those times knew how wonderful they were. Those in the 20’s didn’t think of them as the ‘Roaring Twenties’ or anything like that. I suppose that I’m lucky being a student of history, because I get to see everything in front of me at once. Every era, every span of time I love learning about I can look at all at once.
But every now and again, I feel myself falling into that kaleidoscope and wishing.